Hiking in a lost world drained of color, we passed by the bridge to Nowhere, as we climbed higher and higher.
Indeed, there was Nowhere to go but up.
Lungs hurt from the influx of chilled air, as did our quads from exertion, despite all the diligent stretching.
Boots filled with snow.
I stopped to document the disappearing surroundings with my smartphone only to be startled by a woodpecker perched on a nearby tree stump. But my loyal and long-eared canine did not give me the chance to identify it, scaring it off into the Gray.
On this frozen mountain, this was not the only avian we encountered. What now seemed like a regular fixture, a large black raven dove in and out of the fog, the only thing revealing its presence in the other--hidden--world was its audibly flapping wings.
The snow fog also concealed most of the already meager signs of civilization which is always exciting and unsettling at the same time.
It is particularly unsettling when the aforementioned loyal canine--in possession of the second-best sense of smell of all dogs in the world--stopped, listened, and sniffed the air in a way that was much different from its standard behavior around deer and grouse.
Something more menacing was nearby, and it was almost dusk.
We headed in.